12 Most intriguing Seahawks: No. 8, S Delano Hill
Mike Salk and Brock Huard are counting down the 12 most intriguing Seahawks players every weekday morning at 9:30 a.m. leading up to the first day of training camp on July 26. (All 2018 Seahawks Training Camp dates and times can be found here.)
The pair continued the countdown Tuesday morning by focusing on their No. 8 pick: safety Delano Hill.
At a glance
Delano Hill was one of four defensive backs drafted by Seattle last year and was a regular contributor on special teams. Without Kam Chancellor this year, he’ll have a chance to compete for more playing time at strong safety. During minicamp in June, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the team was excited to see what Hill, along with second-year free safety Tedric Thompson, could bring to training camp this year:
“He’s a particularly good tackler, a good open field player,” Carroll said of Hill. “He’s real fast for a safety. We thought he was one of the best coverage safeties in the draft two years ago. So he played kind of in the nickel spot a lot, and played the slots a lot … What’s jumped out is his tackling ability and open field stuff and that showed up on special teams. He did a really nice job. So there’s nothing holding him back. He’s going to get a great opportunity. We’re going to see where he fits in. Like Bradley, the coverage skills that he has really adds to his game too so he could play on the deep end and he could cover receivers and tight ends really without any problems. It’s just a matter of time. It’s just experience and really just opps to let him show what he can do.”
“Out of all these 12 intriguing prospects, I think I can say this most definitively about Delano Hill: he’s got to be good. His is the one name that I circle and highlight and say, ‘Delano’s got to be good, and he’s got to be borderline great. Because he’s filling some really big shoes at that safety position.’
“That’s not even from a coverage, or scheme, or tackling standpoint. It’s from all of it; it’s about what that position means, and the gamechanger it is. That’s what Kam Chancellor brought to the strong safety postion, and Delano’s got to bring some of it. If Kam’s a 100 there, Hill won’t be a 90. He just won’t be; he doesn’t have that kind of size. But can he be an 85? Can he be an 88? Can he be more than Bradley McDougald? That’s why Hill was the highest-drafted strong safety under Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
“(That strength and strike) is what I will be watching so closely from that TV booth in preseason. You’ve got to come up and strike. That’s what the team is going to be watching. Between Tedric Thompson, Delano Hill, and the rest of these young guys, who’s going to come up and just enforce and strike? Because you have to do that in this three-deep scheme.”
“You could make an argument Delano Hill should be higher than No. 8 because of the position he’s being thrown into. He’s got the first shot at it. Bradley McDougald is flexible enough to play either free or strong, (and assuming Earl Thomas isn’t at training camp) it seems like they prefer him at free safety. So you’ve got Delano now playing strong safety, which means he gets the nod over Tedric Thompson.
“I think you’re expecting this to work as you try to recreate a new secondary out there, but he’s the most unknown piece in it. You know what Byron Maxwell can do, I think last year you got a sense of what Shaquill Griffin can do, and we know who Bradley McDougald is, he’s a solid player. The upside is huge with Delano Hill. But is he actually a good player? Can he live up to that? They keep arguing that a bunch of guys haven’t had their shot and ‘Wait ’till you see them out there.’ OK, well Delano Hill is the biggest example of that. And if he’s the guy, and you’re going to put your eggs into that basket, I can’t wait to see if he’s got that type of talent. I’m very intrigued.”